The Operation Fast and Furious gunwalking program reached the Missouri Senate race on Thursday, with front-runner Republican candidate Sarah Steelman calling for Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation.
The winner of the GOP primary will face off against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in November.
“I must call upon United States Attorney General Eric Holder to resign his post immediately,” Steelman said in a Thursday morning statement, explaining that Holder has violated the American people’s trust.
“Certainly Mr. Holder has a history of making decisions with which I disagree, including choosing to release classified documents on terrorist interrogations and to reopen criminal investigations of CIA officers acting to avoid another terrorist attack; holding a trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City; not prosecuting members of The New Black Panther Party accused of violating the Voting Rights Act; and suing the state of Arizona over their immigration policies and the state of Florida over their decision to purge their voters rolls.”
“But it is Mr. Holder’s unwillingness to cooperate with the US House and Senate in their constitutionally mandated duties of oversight that takes his tenure from merely being marked by poor decisions to outright obstructionism,” Steelman added. “The fall-out from the Justice Department’s botched Fast and Furious program is not only marked with obstructionism after the fact, but it appears that from the moment Mr. Holder took office the intent was to develop a scheme to deny Americans their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. As the House prepares to cite Mr. Holder for contempt of Congress for failing to produce documents subpoenaed eight months ago, Mr. Holder must resign to restore integrity to the department. If Mr. Holder will not, President Obama needs to act quickly to remove him.”
Steelman — who is leading in polls in the state’s crowded GOP race for the upcoming Aug. 7 primary — is Missouri’s former state treasurer. Her campaign spokesman, Patrick Tuohey, told The Daily Caller on Thursday that Steelman would hope incumbent McCaskill would publicly state her position on Fast and Furious and Holder’s future. (RELATED: Full coverage of Operation Fast and Furious)
“It would be great if Sen. McCaskill would speak one way or the other on this issue,” Tuohey said. “I think it’s very important and Sen. McCaskill has a background in law — she was a prosecutor, I believe. This is exactly something that Missourians want to know about. And, certainly, her colleagues in the Senate are taking a stand.”
When asked for her position on the issue, McCaskill U.S. Senate representative told TheDC that the senator views the issue as a political one and referred TheDC to her re-election campaign for comment. Her campaign has not returned requests for comment.